Monday, May 18, 2009



Pre Post note: Thanks to John Hays for the Palabra Come Rosa award. John mentioned my blog on his sight Robert Frost’s Banjo which has become a sort of mentor blog for me as I try my hand at all this. He is a generous and engaging soul. I have linked to many very solid and worthwhile sights via his blog list and continue to be amazed at the life sharing he does on line. “You Keep Going”*


*That’s a quote, by the way, from a Berry Lopez story called The Falls in a beautiful little book called River Notes.


Now, about garage sales. Having moved from the activity haven of Colorado Springs nine years ago, I have had to alter my leisure activities to blend with the flow of the Midwest. A place were the official state car is the mini van (in Colorado it’s the Jeep) and were the concept of hiking is replaced by going to the mall. Extreme sports in the mid west, as close as I can determine, has something to do with the day after Christmas sales which are like the running of the bulls in Spain. I am not man enough to have tried it yet. I have, however become a garage sailor. My work affords me the opportunity to be in lots of different neighborhoods and since I work for myself, and alone, I can usually stop at my discression. I’ve come to think of garage sailing as recycling, so it has an added green incentive. Recently I came across one in my own neighborhood and made a call to my wife (who keeps all the money thus saving me from my discression). She picked up this dresser and another. I am not an antiquer and I don’t know values of things, but I have some sense of when something is a bargain. I think we did very well on the two pieces. And my wife loves them. But what I really wanted to mention was the difference I see between garage sales where someone is trying to make some money, and where someone is trying to get rid of stuff. This is a significant difference. It changes the whole vibe. I can tell immediately from a glance at a few price tags whether these people are takers or givers. The best sales are where the sellers want you to have something they at one point wanted and the price is almost irrelevant. This is how I got my Banjo. The guy, for whatever reasons, didn’t want it any more, and was genuinely excited that I did. That gift has been a wonderful blessing. It is spiritually healthy to get rid of unnecessary stuff. It helps us with our collective affluenza. And it is good to acquire stuff that you want with some humility as to pre ownership. So a good garage sale can be mutually beneficial.. We also get stories to tell and the added richness of an object’s mysterious history.

2 comments:

John Hayes said...

Garage & yard sales are great events-- I like thrift store shopping too. Interesting distinction between those trying to get rid of no longer needed things & those trying to make some money.

Thanks for the kind words!

John J. Franks IV said...

As you know Randy Flea markets and Garage Sales have been my lifes blood , sweat, and tears.

For almost 36 years I have been buying and selling at Flea markets/Garage Sales, to eek out a living and to basically furnish my home, and my life.

I still do the garage sales but now I sell on ebaY and Craigslist instead of Flea Markets.

So, I guess I am much greener than I have imagined. Since well over 80% of what I own has been recycled in one form or another.

I do all my own repairs/renovations to the Furniture (not nearly as well as You) and of course Electronics and mechanical items.

This particular Piece is exceptional and your work is beyond compare sir.

John